With incentives for students and teachers alike, Indian River School District is supporting stellar math learning.
When Secondary Math Specialist Jimmy Wheatley found the Carnegie Learning Math Solution, he knew it was the perfect fit for his district.
Indian River School District, located in Delaware with an enrollment of 10,592 students, had been having issues with a disjointed curriculum and a lack of rigorous pedagogy—two challenges Mr. Wheatley says MATHia, our adaptive, AI-powered math learning software, helped address.
“The MATHia software is on a different level,” says Mr. Wheatley. “All other curricular programs out there have something that is not in conjunction with your program, so it is a secondary piece. But the MATHia software links up module to module and workspace to workspace.”
MATHia works hand-in-hand with MATHbook, a consumable write-in text, to comprise our blended, core program.
Mr. Wheatley continues, “So what students are doing in the book is what they are seeing on the screen. It's not a disjointed entity, and that's what really bought me into Carnegie Learning.”
Although Mr. Wheatley knew that MATHia would help students thrive with grade-level learning, he knew they would only see that success if they put in their best effort in the software. These are some of his inventive incentives that got buy-in from both students and teachers across the district!
MATHia Incentive #1: Movie Night
Who doesn’t love a movie night? Taking students to the auditorium for a movie was a perfect strategy for building camaraderie while encouraging MATHia progress!
“If anybody was at 35% MATHia completion by December 14th, they got to go see Top Gun: Maverick the day before Christmas break, which was really, really fun,” Mr. Wheatley shares. “What was cool was that even if you didn't want to watch the movie, the culture was still there.”
The community was behind them.
Mr. Wheatley reports, “We’ve had a lot of help from different businesses. Like, popcorn from Rehoboth Beach, which is a local beach for us. They donated popcorn for the whole movie event.”
MATHia Incentive #2: Parties and Socials at Each School
Parties were also a popular reward for MATHia completion. Students across the district celebrated at gatherings with donuts, ice cream, cupcakes, hot cocoa, and more to celebrate their MATHia progress. Many of these incentives were sponsored by local businesses.
“State Farm donated hot cocoa, and they also donated about 400 cupcakes to Sussex Central High School, which was insane, and it's really helped incentivize MATHia for all of our kids,” Wheatley shares. Georgetown Middle School provided donuts for certain MATHia percentages and had an amazing turnout.
“There was one party where we did not expect 340 kids to show up, but it was absolutely fantastic what we did for all of them,” Mr. Wheatley remarks.
These parties built community—not just among students, but also among the schools and local businesses—and celebrated a job well done.
MATHia Incentive #3: Teacher Teamwork (and T-Shirts!)
Students weren’t the only ones getting in on the fun! Educators showed their school spirit and passion for Carnegie Learning, MATHia, and the district with special t-shirts they designed themselves.
“We had not only incentives for the students, but also teachers,” Mr. Wheatley notes. “We really want to become a team around here.”
Teachers collaborated and got creative with their ideas. Their "Inπre Mathematical Thinking" t-shirts have been a big hit!
MATHia Incentive #4: Certified 100 Percenters
Any student who achieved 100% MATHia completion was dubbed a “100 percenter” and received a special certificate. They’d get their pictures taken with the certificate and be celebrated for their awesome work, too! 100 percenters were also eligible for special raffles with a wide range of prizes.
“We would have a random drawing for gift cards ranging from $10 to $500 from local businesses,” explains Mr. Wheatley. “We put them in envelopes, dropped them on the floor and said, ‘Hey, you have ten seconds to pick one of these envelopes.’ And it got all the kids really excited.”
MATHia Incentive #5: The Grand Prize
The grand prize of the MATHia raffles was particularly special, as it allowed students to choose between three amazing options for their reward.
“The grand prize was their choice of $500 cash, a PlayStation 5, or an Xbox Series X,” Mr. Wheatley enthused. “So everybody over a certain completion percentage was automatically entered into a raffle. We have done that for each marking period. That was really cool. That got a lot of kids excited.”
The first marking period winner chose a Playstation 5 and the second marking period winner chose the $500 as her grand prize. Both were celebrated among other students for their win!
MATHia Incentive #6: MATHia Madness
During March, basketball wasn't the only thing surrounded by madness and Indian River Public Schools!
From March 1st to the 31st, students competed in MATHia Madness to complete 31 workspaces in just 31 days.
The results blew everyone away. By the end of the month, hard-working students had completed 3,031 workspaces, with 50 students meeting the 31-in-31 challenge. The syllabus completion rate jumped from 57% to 73%.
Victory was sweet: winners were rewarded with a pizza party and a movie during class.
It’s no surprise that students were so enthusiastic thanks to the wonderful work of the district, the educators, and the community partners that brought these MATHia incentives to life!
But the biggest round of applause goes to the teachers who have never lost sight of the ultimate goal of getting kids the grade-level content they all need to succeed.
“This year, we’re estimating about 85% of our students will get through 100% of the MATHia content, which is almost triple what we've done before. So we're really excited with everything that's going on,” Mr. Wheatley shares. “We owe it all to the teachers, students, and parents for their continued efforts in pushing this valuable resource. It’s not easy, but we have definitely found a stride this year due to our hard work.”
Danielle Donnelly is an Associate Communications Manager with Carnegie Learning. With a well-rounded background in marketing, she has a passion for education, innovation, and lifelong learning. Her work is motivated by her aspiration to empower students and teachers across the globe.Explore more related to this author